Debiopharm and SunRock Biopharma Partner to Advance Antibody Drug Conjugates for Hard-to-treat Cancers
Debiopharm (www.debiopharm.com), a privately-owned, Swiss-based, biopharmaceutical company aiming to establish tomorrow’s standard-of-care to cure cancer and infectious diseases, today announced an exclusive option and license agreement with SunRock Biopharma (www.sunrockbiopharma.com), a Galician company supported by the regional government, Xunta de Galicia, through Xesgalicia, devoted to the development of antibodies against highly invasive tumors with an urgent clinical need in oncology, for the advancement of the development of specifically targeted antibodies.
The agreement offers Debiopharm licensing options to further develop SunRock’s antibodies integrating Debiopharm’s innovative linker technologies, Multilink™ and AbYlink™, to create innovative antibody drug conjugates (ADCs). Novel ADCs will be developed with capacity to target tumor-specific antigens to fight cancers with high unmet need, including those tumor types expressing HER2/HER3.
ADCs are emerging as promising therapies in the fight against cancer due to their unique ability to target and destroy cancer cells selectively while minimizing damage to healthy tissues. These innovative therapeutics combine the precise targeting capabilities of monoclonal antibodies with the potent cytotoxic effects of small molecule drugs, resulting in a powerful synergistic effect. By harnessing the specificity of antibodies, ADCs can recognize and bind to tumor-specific antigens on the surface of cancer cells, ensuring that the toxic payload is delivered directly to its intended target. This precise approach not only enhances therapeutic efficacy but also reduces systemic toxicity and side effects commonly associated with traditional cancer treatments.
“Our partnership with SunRock could result in the creation of highly innovative antibody-drug conjugates with the potential to tackle cancer in a new way and ultimately improve the lives of cancer patients,” commented Bertrand Ducrey, CEO of Debiopharm. “In a time when few new modalities show promise in effectively beating cancer, the potential of this collaboration is sparking scientific curiosity by combining biology and chemistry.”
Advancements in linker technology have improved ADC stability in circulation, reducing premature drug release and further increasing treatment specificity and effectiveness. Debiopharm’s unique Multilink™ technology can be used to create ADCs that are significantly more effective and better tolerated as it allows the loading of multiple payloads on an antibody. AbYlink™ is an antibody conjugation technology suited to rapidly generate new antibody drug conjugates or imaging antibodies while preserving the original affinity of the antibody to its target.
“We’re highly motivated to uncover the potential of these antibodies with well-validated oncology targets such as HER2 and HER3,” expressed Frederic Levy, Senior Executive Director, Search & Evaluation and Scientific Innovation. “Combining these promising molecules with our linker technology could really boost efficacy and safety to outsmart a wide variety of cancers with a high unmet medical need.”
“We are really enthusiastic about the powerful synergy of SunRock antibodies and bispecific antibodies with Debiopharm’s ADC platform and clinical development capabilities,” commented Laureano Simón, CEO of SunRock Biopharma.
Multilink™ is a new cleavable linker platform suited for multidrug attachment and compatible with any conjugation technology to produce ADCs with high DAR (drug-to-antibody ratio). This unique and innovative technology allows the loading of multiple payloads on an antibody for an enhanced therapeutic effect. This highly effective and well-tolerated linker platform is available for use by other specialty biotech or pharmaceutical companies to generate proprietary, clinical-stage ADCs.
AbYlink™ is a versatile and rapid antibody conjugation technology for diagnostic purposes and ADC preparation. This site-selective method offers defined and invariable conjugation sites with no impact on antigen-binding regions. It facilitates a seamless, homogenous antibody conjugation process between antibodies and cytotoxic drugs, ensuring optimal stability and controlled drug release at the site of action. AbYlink empowers researchers to design ADCs with enhanced efficacy, safety, and specificity that can address unmet medical needs of patients through cutting-edge ADC innovation.
About SunRock Biopharma
SunRock Biopharma is a biotech company devoted to the development of therapeutic antibodies against highly invasive tumors with an urgent clinical need. SunRock has developed a unique portfolio of first-in-class and best-in-class therapeutic antibodies and bispecific antibodies against novel targets, such as CCR9 and well-known targets such as HER3.
Debiopharm develops innovative therapies that target high unmet medical needs in oncology and infectious diseases. Bridging the gap between disruptive discovery products and international patient reach, we identify high-potential compounds and technologies for in-licensing, clinically demonstrate their safety and efficacy and then select large pharmaceutical commercialization partners to maximize patient access globally.
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